Private Life Under Socialism: Love, Intimacy, and Family Change in a Chinese Village, 1949-1999 (Google eBook)

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Stanford University Press, Mar 12, 2003 - Social Science - 320 pages
5 Reviews
Yunxiang Yan is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of The Flow of Gifts: Reciprocity and Social Networks in a Chinese Village (Stanford, 1996). ---------- For seven years in the 1970s, the author lived in a village in northeast China as an ordinary farmer. In 1989, he returned to the village as an anthropologist to begin the unparalleled span of eleven years' fieldwork that has resulted in this book--a comprehensive, vivid, and nuanced account of family change and the transformation of private life in rural China from 1949 to 1999. The author's focus on the personal and the emotional sets this book apart from most studies of the Chinese family. Yan explores private lives to examine areas of family life that have been largely overlooked, such as emotion, desire, intimacy, privacy, conjugality, and individuality. He concludes that the past five decades have witnessed a dual transformation of private life: the rise of the private family, within which the private lives of individual women and men are thriving. ---------- "The best ethnography of rural China in the 1990s, this important book is about a rarely explored but central dimension of Chinese family life. Yan also places his study of private life directly in the center of classic debates about the character and importance of corporate kinship. It takes years of sharing villagers' lives to see beneath the surface. Yan lived it, and he brings deep understanding to both the narrative and the analysis."--Deborah Davis, Yale University "This may well prove to be the finest rural ethnography of a Chinese village ever written. By focusing on the emotional domain, Yan invites his readers to engage ethnographically in a new domain of scholarly exploration and analysis. In so doing, he has made the Chinese more human. It is a wonderful study."--William Jankowiak, University of Nevada, Las Vegas "This ethnographic study should be in every academic library."--Library Journal "In probably the best micro-examination of Chinese society in transition, Yan goes beyond the three conventional topologies of treating the Chinese family as a cultural, economic, and political unit. His focus on the personal and emotional aspects of Chinese families separates this book from the conventional emphasis on structure and collectivism."--H.T. Wong, Eastern Washington University "Beautifully crafted, this study provides a sobering look at changes in rural Chinese family life, while shedding rare light on the inner moral and emotional world of the Chinese villager."--Population and Development Review "a throught provoking book..."--American Historical Review
  

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Review: Private Life under Socialism: Love, Intimacy, and Family Change in a Chinese Village, 1949-1999

User Review  - Crystal - Goodreads

This book is more of a 2.5, but I will round up because it does make some pretty sound arguments and it destroys a lot of stereotypes I think a western would have about Chinese life today. It isn't a ... Read full review

Review: Private Life under Socialism: Love, Intimacy, and Family Change in a Chinese Village, 1949-1999

User Review  - Goodreads

This book is more of a 2.5, but I will round up because it does make some pretty sound arguments and it destroys a lot of stereotypes I think a western would have about Chinese life today. It isn't a ... Read full review

Contents

Political Economy
17
Youth Autonomy and Romance in Courtship
42
Tables
47
Sex Intimacy and the Language of Love
64
Gender Dynamics and the Triumph of Conjugal Power
86
Domestic Space and the Quest for Privacy
112
The Politics of Family Property
140
Elderly Support and the Crisis of Filial Piety
162
Birth Control and the Making of a New Fertility Culture
190
and the Uncivil Individual
217
Character List
237
Bibliography
267
Index
283
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Yunxiang Yan is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of The Flow of Gifts: Reciprocity and Social Networks in a Chinese Village (Stanford, 1996).

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